Can you describe the love you feel for your child?
I don’t know about you, but I actually have a hard time putting words to the depth of love that I have for my kids. Becoming a mother changed me like nothing else, and watching my kids grow into considerate and caring young adults has been both a joy and privilege.
For many of us, the love that we have for our children knows no bounds. We love them through the ups and downs and all the mistakes, the good, the bad, and the ugly. We love them unconditionally, and it’s so helpful when we actually tell them that out loud.
When reviewing the past week in a recent coaching session with a Mom that I’m working with, she shared a recent win that she had with her son. He had gotten extremely angry at her, and she was able to remain calm. She told him, it’s okay to be angry with me, I will always love you.
Her words helped to calm him, and his storm of big feelings passed.
I realize that for many of us, this goes completely against our natural instincts. When someone is lashing out at you, your first instinct will not be to respond with love. But when kids see that we can handle their big feelings when they can’t and they hear that we love them no matter what — they feel safe and it helps to calm their nervous system.
For many of us it’s just a given that we love our children unconditionally, but expressing that unconditional love is a gift that can change everything.
Now… Can you imagine having that same unconditional love for your mother’s daughter that you have for your own children?
To be honest, the first time I read that sentence I thought about my sisters. It took me a minute to realize that also included me, and it includes you too. YOU are your mother’s daughter.
Do you have the same level of love for yourself as you do for your children? Or do you hold yourself up to a standard that no one can meet? Criticizing yourself at every turn, never able to do enough or be enough. Thinking that if we beat ourselves up enough we will be motivated to change.
To be completely honest, I definitely don’t love myself at the same level that I love my kids. I tend to see the best qualities in my kids, but with myself I tend to see where I’m falling short.
For many years, I was my own worst critic. I was great about building my kids up, but forever tearing myself down.
I’ve been working on learning how to love myself for a number of years now. I’m now better about building myself up and quieting that inner critic, but those instincts are still there. I expect this will be a lifelong project, but well worth it as this work has changed everything for me and my family.
This year, I invite you to become your own Mama Bear, and protect yourself from your own inner critic. Look for the good in you that you look for in your children, and love yourself like you love your kids. Learning to love yourself is a gift you give not only to yourself, but a wonderful example and legacy for your children.
Happy Mother’s Day!
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